Last year I pulled my old bike out of the basement, cleaned it off and started going out for rides. Somehow, no matter what route I peddled, I invariably ended up at the Ever After Mustang Rescue. I would hang out for a while, watching the residents as they grazed, sometimes watching them as they watched me. A month or so later I began volunteering at the barn each Saturday. I knew nothing about caring for horses and was just thrilled to have the opportunity to muck out stalls and begin learning about these beautiful animals.
All the residents are rescues, all have endured trauma, all are now in an environment where they are loved and cared for. Some are permanent residents because they aren’t good candidates for adoption, but others are going through training and the hope is that they will become adoptable and find forever homes with new families.
It didn’t take long for me to begin taking a few photos every time I was there. When the feeling of awe arises, when a scene makes me catch my breath, my response is to pull out my handy iPhone and do my best to capture a picture of it.
Mae had that affect on me. I wasn’t particularly familiar with her, except for having cleaned out her stall a few times. But to see her, even through the eyes of a complete equine novice, was to see a truly beautiful girl, inside and out. Her gorgeous face had me grabbing for my phone a lot.
Today I found out that Mae has been adopted. It is cause for celebration! Dear, beautiful Mae has a family of her own!
And yet…I can feel that other thing too. I’m currently conducting a desperate and ineffective word search to describe ‘that other thing’. The words that come to me are; loss, missing out, being left behind. I haven’t been at the stables since late December – I’m allowing my back to heal after a procedure. I loved Mae, and I won’t see her again. I missed out on a big event at the Rescue. Life goes on no matter what.
I can feel ‘that other thing’. It’s a sensation in my gut, perhaps also in my chest. I can’t actually describe it…there just aren’t words. But I can feel both the happiness and sadness of it. It isn’t asking to be painted with words, it’s asking to be felt.